Travel bible Lonely Planet has singled out the thatched restroom, nestled in the stunning 1,000-acre Co Cork forest park, as one of the planet’s most “stunning lavatories”.
Its new publication, Toilets: A Spotter’s Guide, highlights the most memorable outdoor public lavatories in the world, including a remote toilet island in Belize, a waterfall washroom in Taiwan, and an Arctic outhouse in Lapland.
The book’s introduction states: “As any experienced traveller knows, you can tell a whole lot about a place by its bathrooms. Whatever you prefer to call them — lavatory, loo, bog, khasi, thunderbox, dunny, washroom, or water closet — toilets are a window into the soul of a destination.”
In its description of Gougane Barra’s eye-catching restroom — the only Irish loo which makes the coveted list — Lonely Planet’s writers said: “Gougane Barra in Co Cork, Ireland, has been a retreat from the cruel world and a spot for quiet contemplation — since St Finbarr established an island monastery on the lake during the sixth century. These thatched toilets, tucked away in the forest park, continue that tradition.”
Other global recommendations over where to spend a penny include the lobster loos in Wellington, New Zealand, a prototype space toilet, the ‘Tardis’ in Warmley in Gloucestershire, a hi-tech interactive loo in Tokyo, and a remote jungle toilet in Laos. Globe-trotting toilet enthusiasts are also urged to check out an ultra-remote outhouse in British Columbia, which “features an automatic flush, powered by the moon, which washes away all waste twice a day”.
Lonely Planet adds: “The lavatory is a great leveller.”